- Cafe Gitane at the Jane Hotel
113 Jane St., at West St.; 212-255-4113
Granted, the new west-side branch of the Nolita hipster hub has the same Moroccan-inflected French menu and art-directed vibe as its progenitor. But it also has the luxury of space—that crucial component, especially at brunch—and an ambience that feels airlifted from the Left Bank with a detour to Cuba. Sunlight streams through arched windows, and waitresses in pistachio-green shifts ferry apéritifs from the marble-topped bar. There’s a foosball table and a turntable, both in steady use, and whimsical touches like model boats and what seems to be a stuffed crocodile ascending the backbar. And though the all-day menu offers obligatory brunch basics like eggs and (orange-blossom) waffles, it excels with signature concoctions like chile-flaked avocado toast and the Frenchified shepherd’s pie called hachi parmentier.
From the 2010 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).